An exclusive Melbourne exhibition highlighting the innovation and vision of Catherine the Great, her passion for arts and enlghtenment on til 6th November 2015.  This is a small part of an amazing collection – including her dinner set, cameos, artworks featuring works by Rembrandt, Rubens, Van Dyck, and bathroom accessories made from spun gold.  It is worthwhile listening in to the tours, learning so much more about the exhibition and how the collections were acquired.  Such as the cameos – beautiful jewellery pieces, which was such a favourite of Catherine the Great that she acquired the castings – so that she could produce whatever she  wanted.  She had much furniture made to contain this collection.

Included in the exhibition were videos of the rooms inside the Hermitage, the opulence and beauty was breathtaking.

While Catherine the Great did not leave her palace herself she had many emissaries who sourced the artworks and collections which were bought in large quantities.

Amongst the artworks some of my favourites were the works by Bernado Bellotto (Italian 1722 -80), nephew of the famous Venetian artist Canaletto.

Some of the artworks on exhibition included the preliminary works for the final piece enabling a glimpse into the artist’s working drawings.  This was not an exhibition to rush.  And if you were rushed I find it wonderful to be able to download the labels to the exhibition and read more about the works later if you dont have a chance at the time.

My overall favourite of the exhibition was an oil on canvas by Joseph Wright (1734 – 97) ‘An iron forge vie
wed from without’ for its dramatic lighting effects.



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